The Claws of Gunilla – the Sen Valley Encounter

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    Hi everyone…
    This game – my first – is the opening battle in a series of escalating engagements triggered by the Snortmaiden Gunilla’s massed raid on the Herlanceain rural province of Iathil.
    In a previous attempt, Gunilla had crossed into the province at the head of a huge Orc army: the Helanceians had evacuated the population ahead of her march and taken their time to mass a force against her at a place of their choosing. She had barely escaped with her life.
    Not this time. Gunilla had split her caravan into a series of columns, each sneaking into Iathil along poorly-populated and watched pathways, to cut off and then converge on the market town of Arcross, escaping before the Herlanceian garrisons could react.
    One such column was lead by Big Dadda Surbag…


    “Oi, Big Dadda!” came a small but incredibly irritating voice. “Yer crap!”
    Without looking, Big Dadda Surbag reached down to his right. His hand came back up around the throat of a small, squirming retch, who was both struggling to breathe, bite Surbag and make rude gestures at the same time. He regarded his son for a moment. There was a polite cough then a voice behind him: “Er, Mam said -”
    Surbag tossed his prisoner back into the mob of retches currently trying to wind up the wolf spiders. An occasional web ball came over, only half-heartedly punished by one of the handlers. The Big Dadda sighed and turned to Gul-Sec. “‘Ow we doin’?”
    “All da mobs is lined up like yer said, Big Dadda. Fingerless has got da Trolls movin’ and da bowmun is up front.”
    “Da Humans?”
    “Got da scouts comin’ back nice an’ regular like yer wanted. Dey ‘aven’t moved, but lots of dem ‘orses ‘av turned up.”
    Surbag grunted. “No probs. We got spidas! Oi! Natas!”
    A small, bedraggled and, above all, blue figure emerged hesitantly from behind a bush. “Yeah, Big Dadda?”
    “Yer got da spells?”
    “Yeah, Big Dadda.”
    Surbag grinned. Natas quailed under those rows of jagged teeth. “Gud. Only one fing left… Oh yeah. Oi! Dudagog!”
    “Yeah, Big Dadda?”
    Surbag almost jumped out of his skin. The scrawny little runt had been standing right next to him all this time and he hadn’t noticed. “Dun do dat!”
    “Yeah, Big Dadda.”
    “Look, Dundagog,” said Surbag, regaining his composure and grinning. “Yer wanna be a big Orc, dunt yer?”
    Dundagog nodded vigorously.
    “Well,” Surbag leaned down, his grin terrifyingly broad, “‘sgot a little job for yer…”


    This is the Orc Army List:

    Surbag’s Boys

    Unit Type Qty Points
    Big Dadda 1 280
    Surbag, leader and sire of most of this gang. Upgraded with Great Saw Blade and light armour. The Blade is upgraded with Magic Item 26 (Sword of Forever Striking, 90pts). His skin has been enchanted with Magic Item 128 (War Paint of Oak, 20pts).
    Hag 1 35
    Natas. Terrified of Surbag. Probably his daughter, but if you mention that in Surbag’s hearing he will… Let’s just say he can be remarkably inventive for a Black Orc.
    Runt 1 62
    Dudagog. Thick, even by BLO standards, and still alive only because of his entertainment value. This may change. He carries two bottles of Bnag (Magic Item 74 (Kegs of Scolex’s Special Brew, 30pts each)).
    Grunts 50 508
    Nominally led by Gul-Sec, Surbag’s brother. Otherwise, the company is entirely made up of Surbag’s progeny and upgraded with heavy axes, armour and the command element. In battle, almost always led by Surbag himself and carries his personal banner (Magic Item 245 (The Overlord Banner, 70pts)).
    Grunts 50 238
    Led by Mazhug. Upgraded with the command element.
    Grunts 50 238
    Led by Bugdul-Lam. Upgraded with the command element.
    Grunts 50 238
    Led by Orpigig. Upgraded with the command element.
    Grunts 50 238
    Led by Karrghed. Upgraded with the command element.
    Grunts 50 238
    Led by Mug. Upgraded with the command element.
    Grunts 50 238
    Led by Haguk. Upgraded with the command element.
    Grunt Bowmun 14
    Led by Bogrum-Nug.
    Grunt Bowmun 14
    Led by Cagan
    Retches 4 112
    Led by…. Well, it tends to vary. Basically they do what Surbag tells them to, or else. All sired by Surbag and brought along because their Mam said he had to.
    Wolf Spiders 4+4h 500
    Led by “Web Foot” Wikuga.
    Trolls 10+8h 312
    Led by Dul-Rarfu The Fingerless. Don’t ask.
    Totals: 3349 points 9 squares, 2 triangles, 2 diamonds, 1 star

    Tomorrow: pictures of the army!

    EDIT: the formatting didn’t seems to work very well, hope this makes sense


    The Army
    This is Surbag’s force. He’s proudly in front of his pack of axe=armed grunts, with the Hag and Runt to his left. The retches – thanks, Mam – are on his right. Flanking the lead pack are trolls and wolf spiders, each backed up with bowmun. At the back is a mass of Orcs, all armed with hand weapons and shields and making up the bulk of his gang. 3349 points in total.


    Surbag MS Excel
    This is the original Excel print for Surbag’s mob – you can get the unit details from this.


    Pics of Surbag’s Army:
    Surbag and Axe Grunts
    Natas and Dudagog
    Wolf Spiders
    Grunts Grunts Grunts
    Forgot to take a pic of the Bowmun!
    These are scaled at 1:2 so, when playing, just halve distances. For stability, the models are mounted on thick card which is then flocked. Seems to work well.
    Next: the Herlanceians – give me a few days…


    WOW that looks awesome! and I love the back story too! I wonder if Big Dadda Surbag will make his Mumma proud…. =D

    KC great bit of work there mate, I’m really looking forward to see how it all plays out???


    Beware Surbag, after watching Surbag’s war horde marching out of his Mother’s main caravan to war again the man things, an old Orc Saw around a campfire chewing on guts and bones utters…

    Old Tough Bones: “That Surbag thinks he knows weak man things, ha ha ha, but they cover themselves in thick thick metal and ride into battle on horseback. Surbag needs long pointies to stop their nasty charges, or they will flatten his children under their hoofs…”


    Surbag needs long pointies to stop their nasty charges, or they will flatten his children under their hoofs…

    Ah, you spotted the weakness! I prefer narrative-driven armies, so in this case went for cheap troops in large numbers backed up by specialists. Light cavalry can be challenged by spiders reducing their mobility and bowmun whittling them down. Heavy cavalry may succeed with their initial charge but, once their lances have been taken out of the equation, Orc numbers should tell. Probably. Possibly. Um…


    Two rules come to mind if I was fighting this army:

    P45 Charging Cavalry or Chariots into ‘Soft Infantry’
    When cavalry or chariots smash into weak infantry, their sheer weight can often make a real bloody mess of them, leaving very little to fight back.

    Under the following conditions underneath, some infantry pieces will be classed as ‘Soft Infantry’ versus cavalry or chariot pieces which charge over 7 inches or more into combat.

     All units and mobs, which do not carry pikes or spears and have light armour or no armour are classed as soft infantry.
     All ‘Flimsy Ranked’ pieces are classed as soft infantry, regardless of how they have been armed. This special rule is fully explained on page 44.
     All units and mobs that have been charged in their ‘Flanks’ or ‘Rear’ are classed as soft infantry; this is regardless of how they have been armed. Refer to the previous page to learn more about these vulnerable areas around all pieces. A piece’s ‘Rear’ and ‘Flanks’ are explained on page 44.

    Where the soft infantry rule applies; cavalry and chariots, both their riders and their steeds gain +1 attack each in combat, whilst the enemy infantry must suffer -1 to hit them back in that fight. After the first round of that combat has passed, this rule no longer applies and all pieces affected by it will return to fighting as normal.


    P34 Wipe Out Move Bonus
    Sometimes in combat the enemy is wiped out before they have a chance to flee, either because all of their models have been killed off, or because a unit piece becomes a non gaming piece or an ‘It’. If this leaves the victor completely free from all combat, then all the pieces freed up immediately gain a ‘Wipe Out Bonus’, which is 6 inches of free movement to spend as they wish. If the freed up piece has a movement value of 12 inches or greater, they gain 12 inches of free movement instead. This free move can be spent on any type of movement its controlling player wishes to use; they may even charge the piece into another enemy if they wish. Charging another enemy after wiping one out is classed as an ‘Unintentional Charge’, which is fully explained on the next page.

    Though ‘Pursuing’ and ‘March Over’ moves can destroy a piece instantly, pieces which achieve this do not get a wipe out bonus. However, a piece charging into a fleeing enemy piece will get this bonus if they catch and destroy that enemy. The ‘Pursuing’ rules are on page 34, and ‘March Overs’ are described on page 31.

    Note: If a piece completely kills off an enemy in the first round of combat after charging and uses its wipe out move to hit another enemy, this is counted as one big continuous charge. Therefore, certain other rules such as the ‘Soft Infantry’ rule and ‘Lances’ might come into play. For instance, a piece that wipes out one enemy and then charged into another whilst they are armed with lances, they will get that weapon’s bonus again. ‘Soft Infantry’ is explain on page 45 and the rules for ‘Lances’ are on page 73.

    charging another enemy after wiping one out is classed as an ‘Unintentional Charge’, which is explained on page 35.

    Battles can be won or lost on these rules. It all depends if Surbags’ Boys can hold after a Herlanceian Charge. They should be able to see off Heavy Riders, but Grand Riders are point for point the best cav in the game, and in a Wedge formation with a magical command, say +1 to hit… They could have 7 models in the front, each one with 3 attacks each with Soft Infantry , totalling 21 attacks (not to mention the steeds’ 14 attacks too), -3 to the Grunts toughness save when their lances hit and they will Strike First… Yowch…

    On the other hand… you do have the Overlord Banner and the numbers to sook up a hariffic charge. So… it could depend if Surbag is in favour with the great Dice Gods on that day.

    Also terrain will be another big factor too… And I suppose there is also the question of maneuverability with Surbag’s horde, but lol with your numbers you should swamp the battlefield.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Dave.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Dave.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Dave.


    The RNG Giveth; the RNG Taketh Away


    lol ok then, I like the cut of your jib and I admire your spunk 🙂 You have at them Herlanceians Surbag, you’ll be find…

    Hows the Herlanceian Army going CK? I’m looking forward to seeing what old Surbag is going to be facing after all this?


    “So, gentlemen,” said Colonel Normand, “everyone clear?” He raised his eyes from the map spread out on the trestle table and regarded his officers. In the cold early morning light, he could make out a mixture of excitement, confidence and, yes, apprehension. “It is always so,” he thought to himself. “First time against Orcs for most of these commanders. They damn well should be afraid.”
    Aloud, he said: “Remember. We’re blocking their path. They have to go through us; we can sit tight. So we bombard them all the way to our position, then Liburnius?” The cavalry officer stiffened to attention. “You and Brovern pick your moment. I want them hit so hard the Titans will wake. All right: go to your companies and may Ronnic show us the way.”
    A quiet voice next to Normand said: “Not ideal.”
    Normand did not need to look: Thadalf, his friend of many, many High Moons, confidant, advisor and – when needed – battlefield Thaumaturge, had slipped past his personal guard to stand at his shoulder. The Colonel grunted in agreement. “You know me,” he said. “I’ve not time for the heroics of a fight like this.”
    “We’re outnumbered.”
    “Yes. Well: maybe not – who can be sure? But we don’t have the edge.”
    A different voice said: “We might, Colonel.”
    Thormand turned, and his first thought was: “How in Hell had something so big got so close and I hadn’t heard it?”
    The red griffen, seeming to sense the drama of its entrance, spread its magnificent wings wide and raised a proud, noble head. The tall, simply-clad man standing in front of the beast bowed.
    “Augun ThunderHand,” said Thormand. For the first time in days, he broke into a grin. “The 87th bids you welcome.”



    This is the army list for the Herlanceians. Another narrative-driven army, and a little over the 3500pts I set for the game. I’ve resisted the urge to go all-cavalry as this isn’t an Orc-killing army – this is Iathil mobilising whatever troops are available to intercept the raiding forces.

    Hopefully this is a balanced force able to adapt to whatever Surbag comes up with…

    Figures to come soon.


    Lovely bit of writing there KC, I really like the expression you have coined there, “Wake the Titans”. I think I will be using that one myself in my writing if you don’t mind 🙂

    Looking at both lists. I think old Surbag is going to have a tougher time of it. He’s going to wish he brought some more Spiders and Hags. I cannot tell you how affective the spell ‘Crack in Reality’ is for Hags are. Its ease of casting, long range, multiple wounds and no saves makes it my go too little problem solver when dealing with Griffins or Crack Cav Units and other nasties on the field.

    Garrison Master Normand is right to feel inspired by the appearance of Augun and his Griffin, as that will play a key part in the Herlanceian’s battle plan. On the other hand looking at the cav units, their charges should not be to devastating. I would imagine they will be trying to out flank the Orcs, which will make them a real problem for Surbag and his Boys.

    I am looking forward to seeing how the battle pans out 🙂

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Dave.
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